You would think that a 17 year old dog would be frail and light and easy to carry around, but let me tell you that Ernie is anything but light! So when Solvit Products offered to let us test out one of their HoundAbout II Trailer I actually said "Yes!" out loud! I had been looking around for a stroller or a trailer of some sort for quite a while but I just couldn't find the right one that would let us take him on trails and the parks as well as on the road. Well, now we have an amazing stroller that goes anywhere we want to go with the dogs! Check out our short clip on Instagram of the trailer in action!
Ernie can walk about a block by himself before he starts panting and slowing down to a stop so for the past 6 months we've been carrying him the rest of the way home and it's starting to take a toll on both of us. I didn't realize how limiting our walking was by carrying Ernie but now after using the stroller for a few weeks I fully realize that we weren't going as far as we should be going to get enough exercise. I was so used to Foyle's limitations on walking that we kind of kept up that routine even after he had passed away.
We're both impressed with the how sturdy this stroller has turned out to be but I think that Ernie likes it the best! We've noticed that he has been running out the front door lately ready to head outside instead of out the back door like he usually does to avoid going for a walk! He just looks out one of the six "windows" in the stroller and watches the view going by and we let him out to walk as far as he can then put him back in to continue on further until we're done. It's great for Nooner too because she gets nervous in certain public areas so now I can set her in the stroller as well where she can chill out and relax and calm down a bit. But now, let's get into the details of the Houndabout II!
Let's start with the fact that this is actually a bike trailer and a stroller all in one! You can go either way depending on your mode of transportation, but since we don't have bikes yet (gasp!) we opted for the stroller option. The instructions say that you can put it together in 45 minutes and we (the Mr.) put it together in just under an hour due to a technicality with brakes and the wheels. So, it's relatively easy to put together if you are mechanically minded. That was the Mr.'s only complaint was that the instructions were not very detailed or illustrated very well (thus the wheel issue) so you have to be savvy with mechanical terms or it will take you longer than 45 minutes. Mission accomplished though and once the wheels were flipped so the brake worked right we were ready to roll!
Roll we did, we've been strolling through downtown Berkeley, off-roading on the trails, cruising through the neighborhood and shopping all over the East Bay. I love the fact that this trailer is flexible and sturdy enough to go anywhere and the medium size can fit all three dachshunds if we need to go through a crowded area. It's easy to maneuver, rolls right over curbs thanks to the durable rubber wheels, and the aluminum frame makes it light enough to pick up and put in the back of the car easily. I really only have two complaints; the first is that I wish the front wheel had a quick release so you don't have to unscrew it completely to get it on and off, and the second is that the front wheel wobbles sporadically as if it is loose. We've looked at it several times and it could be a function of how we put it together but we've checked and everything seems to be tight.
Now let me walk you through the perks of the stroller:
- You can use it as a stroller or as a trailer for a bike! Bonus, two products in one!
- Excellent rubber wheels, thick and durable and goes over any type of surface. The front wheel rotates and makes it easy to maneuver around corners and tight spots.
- There's a brake! Much needed for staying put on smooth surfaces and parking situations, although I wish it was near the handle instead of on the side, but it works well.
- Reflectors on the wheels and the back of the trailer. We'll be using this at night and I've added another blinker just to make sure we're safe walking in the dark.
- It comes with a cup holder! Excellent for that morning coffee run with the dogs. It's a bit flexible so definitely use a cup with a solid lid that you can close or else you'll end up dousing your trailer with coffee like I did today.
- Three large pockets! There's enough room for keys, phones, leashes, treats, and waste bags. I may add in another bag holder meant for kids' strollers like this one for extra storage when we go out on a photo shoot.
- Six mesh panels for circulation and 3 zippered openings for easy in and out and to keep them safely in the trailer. Plus, you can roll up the zippered openings and tie them up with an elastic band hooked to the trailer! Nice touch. Also has a removable, washable cushion for the bottom.
- Fits in the back of a Passat Wagon if you take the front wheel off so it's easy to travel with, in fact we'll be bringing it down to So Cal over the weekend!
Guess who else likes the stroller? Santa gave us the thumbs up last weekend as we stopped by the Holistic Hound in Berkeley to get some new treats for the holidays! I guess the HoundAbout II is Santa approved as well!
If you have a senior, injured, or paralyzed dog and are looking for a dog stroller than I highly recommend that Houndabout II! It's sturdy, flexible, easily maneuverable, fits all three of our dogs, and is only 20 lbs! Definitely something to put on your Christmas list this year!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Solvit Products. We did a thorough test of the stroller and all of the opinions in the post are original and come from an honest evaluation of the product.